PE Week Wire, Jan. 19, 2007

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*** Apologies for the abbreviated publication today, which is partially due to a dearth of news and partially due to the Wharton conference beginning in 10 minutes (i.e., I need to get downstairs). Will be back Monday with some scoops, and will try to update peHUB a few times this afternoon with developments from here in Philly… Oh, and Go Pats!

Top Three

Building Materials Corporation of America has raised its offer for Dallas-based roofing and building products company ElkCorp (NYSE: ELK) from $40 per share to $42 per share. This is now the second time that BMCA has topped an offer from The Carlyle Group, which originally bid $38 per share and later upped it to $40.50 per share. UBS is running the auction.

Claros Diagnostics Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based developer of handheld urological cancer diagnostic testing system for point-of-care use, has raised $7.8 million in Series A funding. Oxford Bioscience Partners led the deal, and was joined by Bioventures Investors, Accelerated Technologies Partners and Commons Capital.

Scott Darling has joined Frazier Technology Ventures as its fifth partner. He has spent the past seven years with Intel Capital, and 17 years overall with Intel Corp.

VC Deals

Workshare, a London-based provider of secure content compliance solutions, has raised $23 million in Series B funding. Backers include Steelpoint Capital Partners, Intel Capital and Quester.

Player X, a UK-based mobile gaming and entertainment company, has raised Gbp5 million in second-round funding. Nordic Venture Partners and Long Acre Partners were joined by previous backer Arts Alliance., a Santa Clara, Calif.-based online marketplace for college students, has raised $2.2 million in Series A funding from Gabriel Venture Partners and seed backer Mike Maples. The news was first reported by BusinessWeek.

InovaWave Inc., an Austin, Texas-based maker of software that improves server and desktop virtual machine performance, has raised $2 million in Series A funding from Silverton Partners.

Buyout Deals

KPS Capital Partners has acquired PaperPak Products Inc., a Greenville, N.C.-based manufacturer and distributor of adult incontinence products, from Attends Healthcare Investments Ltd. No financial terms were disclosed.

Sun Capital Partners has acquired L. Powell Co., a Culver City, Calif.-based maker of home accent furniture. No financial terms were disclosed.

American Capital Strategies late last year completed a $41 million one-stop buyout of Pacific Handy Cutter Inc., a Costa Mesa, Calif.–based maker of branded razor cutting tools.

Audax Group has acquired Silent Preferred Partners LLC, a Salem, Va.-based assembler of axles, chassis, and diesel engines for Class 8 truck manufacturers. No financial terms were disclosed, except that NewStar Financial provided $17 million worth of senior secured credit facilities.

The New York Times is unlikely to sell The Boston Globe, Times CEO Janet Robinson said in a speech yesterday to Boston-area businesspeople.

PE-Backed M&A

Convio Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of online constituent relationship management solutions for nonprofit organizations, has acquired competitor GetActive Software Inc. of Berkeley, Calif. in an all-stock deal. No pricing terms were disclosed. Convio has raised over $36 million in VC funding from firms like Austin Ventures, Adams Street Partners, Granite Ventures, Silverton Partners and Windspeed Ventures. GetActive had raised around $10.5 million from Band of Angels, El Dorado Ventures, Pacific Partners and Rembrandt Venture Partners.

PE Exits

Subex Azure Ltd., a listed Indian provider of revenue maximization solutions for telecom operators, has agreed to acquire Syndesis Ltd., a Canada-based provider of telecom OSS solutions, for US$164.5 million in cash. Syndesis raised US$52 million in VC funding between 1999 and 2001, from firms like Greylock, Pequot Capital, Sequoia Capital and VenGrowth.

Firms & Funds

Wingate Partners of Dallas has secured around $107 million in capital commitments for its fourth buyout fund, according to a regulatory filing. Limited partners include RCP Advisors, Portfolio Advisors and UTIMCO.

Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based alternative asset manager, has set its proposed IPO terms to around 32.29 million shares being offered at between $16.50 and $18.50 per share. Fortress manages private equity funds, hedge funds and publicly-traded alternative vehicles.

Human Resources

Hironobu Nakano has joined CITIC Capital Partners as a managing director and head of Japanese operations. Nakano previously was a managing director of the Industrial Revitalization Corp. of Japan and a founding member of Advantage Partners.

Thomas V. Taylor has joined Sun Capital Partners as a managing director. He had spent the past 23 years with Home Depot, most recently as chief marketing officer and executive vice president of merchandising.

Norman Bobins, CEO of LaSalle Bank, announced that he will retire at year-end. He will be succeeded by Larry Richman, who currently oversees LaSalle’s commercial banking operations.

Paul Bodet has joined RSM EquiCo Capital Markets LLC as a Chicago-based vice president, focused on the technology sector. He previously was with TechCap Advisors in Boston.

David Dodson has joined Salem Partners as a director of wealth management. He previously was a vice president with Essential Advisors Inc.


Corrections: Maria Cirino, a partner with .406 Ventures, was a co-founder of Guardent, not Verisign (which ultimately acquired Guardent). Also, Fortify Software has raised over $19 million in total VC funding.